How much is your house worth?
Tuesday 19 February 2013
If you asked me to put a value on the house I live in, I’d probably find it pretty difficult.
By The Landlord
There’s the CV, of course. Then there’s what a similar house has sold for just the corner. Then there’s what I’d like to think it’s worth, and then again there’s how much it might cost to build if all I had was the section.
But under changes to insurance policies set to happen this year, I’ll have to put a figure on it – and I’ll have to make sure I get it right. Otherwise, I could be left seriously out of pocket if disaster strikes.
IAG has confirmed that it will switch its policies from full replacement cover to agreed value some time this year. So if an earthquake hits and wipes out my house, I’ll only get paid out the amount we’ve agreed on – not whatever it takes to build a new house.
This raises some questions. What happens if we agree on a figure now, and then there’s a major disaster that puts pressure on the construction industry, forcing up prices? Will I have to build a smaller house because the $500,000 (or whatever figure we agreed on) now doesn’t cut it when construction firms are having to compete for labour or materials?
Most houses cost more to build than the sell for second-hand at the moment. If the insurance value is tied to the CV, as has been suggested, how well does a property’s CV cater for the cost of a new build?
I can understand the insurance companies’ point of view – reinsurers want to know exactly what they might have to stump up for in the event of a large-scale disaster – but getting the dollar figures right will be crucial, especially for property investors.
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